An US airstrike hit an area where leaders of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked militants were meeting, intelligence sources told Reuters.
The strike prompted rumours among Somali government officials that it had targeted al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and other leaders who were suspected to have been at the location, but there was no confirmation they were hit.
Since taking charge in 2008, Godane has restyled the group as a global al Qaeda player - a transformation that was highlighted when it killed at least 67 people in an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall in September.
The US Department of Defence said that its forces had carried out the operation against al-Shabaab and would provide more information "when appropriate".
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